Pro dealers to hone business skills

The ProDealer Industry Summit, sponsored jointly by the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News, will explore macroeconomic forces, as well as the everyday running of an LBM business.

One of those business-improvement presentations is “The One Minute Negotiator,” which isn’t geared toward consummating a deal in less than 60 seconds, stressed George Lucas, who will open the general session on Oct. 25. The author, trainer and consultant is focused on a one-minute strategy toward sizing up the other side of a negotiation and choosing the correct approach. 

“Most people are fearful of negotiations,” Lucas said. “They think it’s going to damage relationships.”  But negotiating skills are more important than ever in the current LBM market, he added. 

“Margins are thinner than they’ve ever been, and it’s extremely difficult to win new business based on price alone,” said Lucas, whose client list includes Orgill and Rust-Oleum. “Any attempt that’s price-based is going to get the incumbent to cut their price.”

Knowing the other side’s negotiating style -- i.e., collaborative, competitive, accommodating, conflict-avoiding -- is always helpful when entering into a deal-making session. But Lucas can offer pointers when recognizance is in short supply. “I try to help people get their mind around a negotiation in a short amount of time,” Lucas said.

The ProDealer Industry Summit will be held Oct. 24 to 26 at the Westin Savannah in Savannah, Ga. Jointly sponsored by Home Channel News and the NLBMDA, the three-day conference will include a dinner banquet, networking events, a golf tournament and educational sessions. For more information, visit

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